my son is 6yrd old, ever since he was able to put things in his mouth he has, and has never grown out of it like everyone said he would! My daughter is 3 and never puts anything in her mouth and never has, I am allways finding little plastic toys of hers and his all chewed up like as if a dog has chewed on it... What is this about? When I ask him he doesn't even seem to know he's doing it, or I never seem to see he's doing it and find the chewed up stuff lying around the house!
Hi, my son is a chewer too and does this to soothe and calm himself. He's more apt to chew on his own shirt sleeve than anything, but since he is five---- we've worked on ways to help him fulfill this need in a more appropriate way. Lots of kids like to do this and probably as you said, aren't even aware that they're doing it. They make these things (we call them chewy's) which are designed for this purpose. They are hard rubber and can be smooth or textured. Some look like p's some look like o's and some look like t's. They also make rubber tubing for necklaces or bracelets or you could string some beads on a firm strand (that won't come undone) for him to suck/ chew on. Teachers often can be persueded to keep coffee stirers in their rooms for chewing if it happens at school a lot. We have these items available and when I see him starting to chew--- I offer one of his items. He doesn't always take it---- but it's there. They aren't too expensive----- maybe 6 dollars for a chewy at most. You can get them at any occupational therapy website (southpaw, therapy shop, therapy source, etc. or a local ot's office). My son does have a developmental delay called sensory integration disorder---- his oral choices are part of this and sometimes due to nervousness. Good luck.
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